As the waves of Hallyu wash upon Singapore’s shores, this washed up as well. Sunny Singapore with 24/7 sunny weather calls for an icy treat to cool the body down and the days of munching down on traditional Ice Bars are over. The original, traditional Ice Kachang has gone through a makeover and came back, Korean style. It’s the Korean dessert, Patbingsoo (팥빙수)
Patbingsoo (팥빙수) is a Korean shaved ice dessert traditionally topped with a sweet red bean paste which is represented by the ‘Pat’ (팥) in Patbingsoo (팥빙수). To follow up with the times, this sweet dessert has now evolved to have a variety of toppings such as fresh fruits, biscuits, whipped cream, soft-serve ice cream and some even serve cakes embedded in the ice itself! Since the evolution of this dessert, it is now widely known as Bingsoo (빙수) with the omission of the red bean paste.
Prepare your drool because I am now going to introduce to you the best places in Singapore to get your frosty treat.
Here are 5 places you can find Bingsoos that are both aesthetically appealing and taste-buds appeasing.
Café Website/FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/binggojung/
Mountbatten Branch: 102 Guillemard Road #01-01, Singapore 399719
Bukit Timah Branch: 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, Bukit Timah Plaza, Singapore 588996
Mountbatten Branch: 12pm~11pm
Bukit Timah Branch: 12pm~11pm
Special Menu: Bananas and brownies bingsoo
Warm Menu: Injeolmi Toast (인절미 토스트)
Plus Point: Their drinks are affordable and delicious!
This café was the place where I first discovered my love for bingsoo. Boasting to be one of the first in Singapore to start the bingsoo craze, Binggojung offers a wide range of bingsoos such as the traditional Injeolmi (인절미) bingsoo and also a more modern oreo cookies and cream bingsoo!
My favourite is still the bananas and chocolate brownies bingsoo. It has slices of fresh bananas with chunks of chunky brownies stuck into a mountain of chocolate shaved ice! Talk about guilty pleasure! After eating a bowl of that bingsoo, the verdict is: guilty!
Café Website/FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/SnowmanDesserts/
Address: Serangoon NEX #02-04/06, Singapore 556083
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Special Menu: Melon Bingsoo
Warm Menu: Hotteok (호떡)
Plus Point: They have a good array of Korean desserts!
If you’ve walked into NEX and ate the amazing Korean BBQ place at the corner of the second floor, you might have noticed that the Japanese restaurant has now converted itself into a Korean desserts café/Korean fried chicken restaurant!
Personally, I’ve tried the Melon bingsoo and it is my favourite so far. The bingsoo is actually served in a bowl that is an actual melon! The ice is soft and smooth and it also leaves a milky after-taste which is one of my favourite things about the bingsoo because unlike the rough shaved ice that you might have experienced while eating other types of shaved ice. On top of their bingsoos, they actually add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a swirl of soft serve ice cream to top off the sweet treat. Their bingsoos like most bingsoo shops come with a small dish of sweetened condensed milk on the side. Although I’ve tried to order their churros with ice cream on two separate occasions, they were sold out! Better luck next time 🙁
Café Website/FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/nunsongyeeburghleydrive/
Burghley Drive branch: 45 Burghley Drive, Singapore 559022
Bugis branch: 534 North Bridge Road Singapore 188749
Tanjong Katong branch: 232 Tanjong Katong Road Singapore 437020
(Closed on Mondays)
Special Menu: Mixed Berries Bingsoo
Warm Menu: Honey Butter Toast
Plus Point: The red beans they use in their desserts are homemade with natural ingredients!
Nunsongyee, being also one of the new-age bingsoo pioneers have developed some unique flavours such as the Red Velvet bingsoo that they released as a specially flavoured event bingsoo for Valentines’ Day! They’ve also made unique flavours such as the black sesame bingsoo and that incorporates the sesame paste (芝麻糊) flavor into the form of a sweet icy treat! Their Honey Butter Toast incorporates both warm & chill elements and is really one-of-a-kind. I can imagine the cold ice cream melting into the layers of freshly toasted toast. It’s the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy! I’d say, it’s definitely worth a visit.
313@Somerset branch: 313 Somerset Rd, #04, 313@Somerset, 238895
Marina Square branch: 6 Raffles Boulevard #04-102 Marina Square Singapore 039594
Opening Hours: Daily, 11:00am-10:00pm
Special Menu: Mango Cheesecake Bingsoo
Warm Menu: Matcha Green Tea Toast
Plus Point: Cup bingsoo is available as a smaller portion of the regular bingsoo for people looking forward to a quick bingsoo fix or for people who want to take in less calories!
O’ma spoon quickly gained in popularity after their outlet opened in the heart of the shopping district at 313@Somerset. This is where you can get your classic, traditional Patbingsoo fix. Light shaved ice topped with a good spoonful of sweetened red bean paste, pieces of Korean rice cakes called ddeok (떡) and the “icing on the cake” is the flaky almonds and nuts that up the fragrance game for the dessert. Their mango cheesecake feels nostalgic to me because I had a similar one in Korea at one of the biggest dessert franchises called Sulbing (설빙). As it is pretty unconventional to include both fresh mangos and cheesecake into a single dish, it was brave of O’ma spoon to introduce this into the local market. And mind you, it’s not “mango and cheesecake flavoured”. There are real chunks of mango and a slice of cheesecake punched into your tower of ice. A perfect combination of fruit, cake and dessert.
Café Insadong (카페 인사동)
Address: 279 Southbridge Road
Mon – Thu: 12:00pm to 9.30pm
Fri & Sat: 12:00pm to 11.30pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 6pm
Special Menu: Makgeolli (막걸리) bingsoo
Warm Menu: Bulgogi (불고기) beef rice
Plus Point: A place to dine for both a meal and for dessert!
Adults gather round! One of the most dope things about Café Insadong is that they serve alcoholic bingsoos! Makgeolli (막걸리) is a Korean rice wine that Koreans usually drink at dinner parties with their colleagues and/or superiors and for Café Insadong to be able to replicate the taste of this drink into a dessert, is a pretty amazing feat accomplished.
Another one of their alcoholic bingsoos is the Macchiato x Baileys bingsoo. Who would have thought of combining coffee with an alcoholic beverage? Good for the people who are looking for a lighthearted dessert with alcoholic and those with adventurous tastebuds. Of course, no dessert date is complete without your loved ones.
Besides being a full-time café, they also serve piping hot rice meals. For now, they only offer two options, the Bulgogi (불고기) Beef/Chicken Rice and the Spicy Chicken Rice. I do hope to see more options available in future!
If you’re reading this in the middle of the night, this spells the end of your agony of having to read through information and scroll through pictures of mouth-watering delectable desserts.
Of course, a good idea would be to jot this information down somewhere and after a good meal with your friends, why not suggest a bingsoo place for round 2 (이차)*?
That’s all for now! Remember to like and share this post to friends who need this information and if you have more Korean dessert cafes in mind, leave a comment!
*Round 2 이차: Pronounced as “yee-cha” is Korean drinking culture terminology usually used when after the first round of dinner and drinks, it is used to describe the second round where they usually go for karaoke or a street bar to have a second round of drinks.
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Article by: Cass Zheng @ kAvenyou